istory was written on the backs of horses. Only dogs have shared more of our successes, our failures, our triumphs and our humiliations. I can think of no other animal which has so profoundly impacted our development as a species, and our changing cultural history. Horses & Ponies are nearly as essential to what makes us human as our primate ancestors.
Being a city girl, my interactions with horses have been very rare treats, but I’ve always held a love for them. Riding, especially, whenever I can get the opportunity is a joy, but any chance to see a horse in person has always been an awe inspiring event. There’s something about horses–the look of their eyes especially, that speaks to me. Maybe it comes from the number of times I read Black Beauty when I was a child.
Over here in Kyoto, the May equestrian trails are something I look forward to every year. Yabusame in particular is an event I don’t like to miss. It is archery on horseback, a statement which fails to live up to how awesome the sport actually is. It’s shooting three arrows in succession at wooden boards 2 square feet across, while galloping at full speed down a track, in traditional costume. That sentence still doesn’t appreciate how badass yabusame is. You really have to see it for yourself.
Horse Breeds of the World are many and varied, and naturally bred for different purposes and climates. This vast diversity in selection makes it a joy of learning when I’m filling in world details of whatever story I’m writing at the moment. Picking the right horse for the right region, or people or individual is as fun as creating a whole new character herself.